Monday, May 28, 2018

Politicians on the Move on Memorial Day

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 12:15 PM

The Memorial Day weekend may have been a rest stop of sorts for much of the working world, but not for the men and women hoping for an adjustment of their job prospects on August 2nd, the next election date on the Shelby County political calendar.

Events of the weekend served as reminders that several electoral positions are being fought over with some vigor.

One of these is the Democratic primary race for the District 29 state Senate position which represents a huge swath of Whitehaven, South Memphis, Midtown, and North Shelby County and which is being vacated by Democratic county mayor nominee Lee Harris. The seat is being contested by two currently serving party office-holders — State Representative Raumesh Akbari and County Commissioner Justin Ford.
click to enlarge Akbari with parents at her headquarters opening - JB
  • JB
  • Akbari with parents at her headquarters opening
Both candidates were in evidence over the weekend. On Saturday, Akbari opened her campaign headquarters in a donated upstairs office space on Millbranch Road, and Ford, who plans a headquarters opening of his own in early June, turned up on Sunday  to shake hands at the annual Memorial Day crayfish boil held by Shelby County Judicial Commissioner David Pool on a Pool family riverbluff site. Akbari will follow her event up with a “town hall” event on Tuesday at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church.

There is a Republican contender for the seat, Tom Stephens of Millington, who is unopposed in his primary, but the seat is traditionally Democratic and the main attraction is considered to be the contest between Akbari and Ford, both of whom currently serve districts in the South Memphis/Whitehaven area.
click to enlarge Candidate Ford (right) with David Pool at Pool's annual Memorial Day crayfish boil - JB
  • JB
  • Candidate Ford (right) with David Pool at Pool's annual Memorial Day crayfish boil
Earlier Saturday, Democrat Katrina Robinson was the beneficiary of a meet-and-greet event at Southwind Country Club. Robinson, who owns and operates a nursing school, is a primary challenger for the District 33 state Senate seat currently held by longtime Democratic incumbent Reginald Tate. District 33 adjoins District 29 and takes in much of south-central Memphis along with the Hickory Hill area.

The contest provides a test of whether the likeable Tate may have lost enough appeal with rank-and-file Democrats to be vulnerable. He fairly consistently votes with the Republican majority in the Senate on key issues and maintains good relations with the GOP leadership, to the point that he had served until recently as an active affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the national organization that furnishes guidelines and sample bills to conservative Republican legislators nationwide.

Among those at the Robinson event making the case that it may be time for a change were longtime activists Jocelyn Wurzburg and TaJuan Stout-Mitchell.

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